Tilda Swinton, who had COVID multiple times, bravely declares that she’s not wearing a mask anymore

Tilda Swinton
Tilda Swinton

This week, Tilda Swinton appeared at South By Southwest to promote her new film Problemista, which she stars in alongside writer/director Julio Torres, and she noted that she’s glad that we’re at a point in the COVID-19 pandemic that the audience members for her keynote speech are comfortable no longer wearing masks. That comes from Variety, which adds that she also proudly declared that she’s refusing to wear a mask herself during an upcoming movie job: “I’m about to shoot a picture in Ireland, and I was told to wear a mask at all times, and I’m not.” Swinton also commented that she was sure her speech was being recorded and insisted that she’s “very healthy” despite going through “multiple” COVID-19 infections.

That means Swinton has now joined a list of heroic celebrities (including Woody Harrelson recently) who have bravely declared that we should all just decide that the pandemic is over because we’re tired of it, which is basically the same strategy that the previous presidential administration tried in 2020—and it didn’t work out too well that time around. But what makes this example of a famous person exercising their stupid level of privilege is that it flies in the face of some previous comments we’ve heard about people who have gone through COVID multiple times.

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In January of 2022, The Guardian published a profile about an actor that briefly touched on the fact that they had gone through COVID multiple times and had since been suffering from “long COVID.” They said they were “coughing like an old gentleman who smoked a pipe for 70 years” and “had nasty vertigo,” but the worst part was that it was affecting their brain. “I did two films that I had to learn a lot of text for,” they explained, saying that they’re normally good at picking stuff up quickly, “but this was like chewing a really big piece of gum. I couldn’t remember my lines.” The actor who said that? None other than Tilda Swinton, who has now decided that, no, it’s all cool now. (One of the movies she was referring to was Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City.)

And maybe it is, we ain’t no doctors here. It’s just that she’s a very famous person who presumably has a lot of money and can afford to say “nah, I’m not wearing a mask anymore even if everyone else is required to wear one,” which ignores the possibility that there might be a reason everyone is supposed to wear a mask and definitely ignores the possibility that wearing a mask actually isn’t a very hard thing to do.

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